Licciardone J. Use of Veterans Administration outpatient facilities by older, rural veterans. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1990;90(4):331. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19126.96.36.1991.
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A mail survey was conducted in rural northeastern Missouri to study the factors affecting use of Veterans Administration (VA) outpatient medical services by older veterans. During the year preceding the survey, 39.6% of the 169 responding veterans had used VA outpatient facilities. Travel time, long waiting time at the clinic, and travel expense were the most common perceived barriers to use. However, these factors were generally poor predictors of use. The reported percentage of each perceived geographic or administrative barrier to use was consistently greater for previous users than for nonusers of these facilities. Multiple regression analysis revealed private medical insurance coverage to be the only significant predictor of use. Veterans with private medical insurance were more likely to receive ambulatory medical care from local providers than from the VA. The potential impact of removing perceived barriers to use in this population remains unclear.
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